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[The English Language] Etymology, Words, Phrases, Dialects and other fascinating things

124

Posts

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Kagera wrote: »
    Whoa wait what?

    Free paid membership? This makes no sense!

    It was free to me. Paid for by the college.

    BN_Sig3.jpg
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    <riposte regarding the irony of poor reading comprehension>

    Warm ales all round!

    Provide sample data to the Traitor project here || What is Traitor?
    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    What is the best word?

    queue. Only 5-letter word with 4 vowels!

    Off the top of my head are "eerie" and "aerie" and I'm guessing there are more.

    So, uh.

    No.

    Only 5-letter q word with 4 vowels!

    qaoya
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    I really hate when people saw "less" when they mean "fewer".

    It's "12 items or fewer" you dumb supermarket express lines.

    You mean Say, not saw, my friend.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    When I was in my American English class, I learned a new definition. The official term for inserting one word inside of another word is called an "in-fix." Most of the time, this occurs with swear words.

    In-fucking-credible. The fucking is an in-fix.

    I would call that tmesis. Or, at least, it's a subcategory of tmesis.

    Which is an unusual word in itself. If I'm feeling a little vicious while preparing a quiz for students I'll sometimes add a question along the lines of 'name a word beginning with tm AND a word ending in mt.'

    This post was sponsored by LG.

    'Get your fucking finger on the wookie'
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    No, I mean saw!

    Obviously I refer to the problems caused by carving things into signs using a saw...

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    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    Or saw, as in a saying.

    This post was sponsored by LG.

    'Get your fucking finger on the wookie'
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    What is the best word?

    Juggernaut.

    Or perhaps tankard.





    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    I really hate when people saw "less" when they mean "fewer".

    It's "12 items or fewer" you dumb supermarket express lines.

    Why would you care? You still understand completely what they mean.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    I really hate when people saw "less" when they mean "fewer".

    It's "12 items or fewer" you dumb supermarket express lines.

    Why would you care? You still understand completely what they mean.

    It sounds as wrong as using "is" instead of "are" when using plurals to pick a random yet similar point of comparison.

    Provide sample data to the Traitor project here || What is Traitor?
    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Few things make me lower my opinion of someone quicker than when they use "is" instead of "are", especially because they are so consistent in using it that way.

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    That particular mistake is, for those of us in the ESL teaching business, the enemy.

    This post was sponsored by LG.

    'Get your fucking finger on the wookie'
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    i taught spaniards for a while

    SON OF A BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETCHHHHHHHH

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    nice try kana

    you colonial you

    Sodomize is the language of freedom
    Sodomise is the language of crumpets

    Ugh I just woke up and I have a headache, too early for banter

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Jeffe, it is incorrect to insert however as a conjunction. It's not used in the same way as "but", which is a coordinating conjunction that joins clauses together.

    Correct:
    I am green; however, you are blue.
    I am green. However, you are blue.
    I am green, but you are blue.

    Incorrect:
    I am green, however, you are blue.
    I am green. But you are blue.
    I am green; but you are blue.

    The latter two incorrect ones are largely permissible informally, because starting a sentence with a coordinating conjunction is a common stylistic choice with a real function. Using however in the first error example, though, is a glaring error (a comma splice).

    I would never use that particular incorrect usage of "however" and would bludgeon those who would.

    Do "however" and "but" actually have different connotations? Me, I choose between them entirely based on stylistic and aesthetic considerations.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    People have already posted that, but I don't see its direct relevance.

    Hamurabi on
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Few things make me lower my opinion of someone quicker than when they use "is" instead of "are", especially because they are so consistent in using it that way.
    Spoiler:

    Lucid on
    No museum needs another upside-down toilet bowl once it has one.
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    People have already posted that, but I don't see its direct relevance.

    Curses!

    At least half of that ('it's' vs 'its') is due to poor iPad typesmanship.

    The other half may be ironic given that it was a topic of conversation within the thread. A lesson for us most.

    Apothe0sis on
    Provide sample data to the Traitor project here || What is Traitor?
    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    oh ludwig

    stop it with your animes

    obF2Wuw.png
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Lucid wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Few things make me lower my opinion of someone quicker than when they use "is" instead of "are", especially because they are so consistent in using it that way.
    Spoiler:

    Hey guess who has two thumbs and never really cared much about Aerith?

    DarkPrimus on
    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Kagera wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    What is the best word?

    queue. Only 5-letter word with 4 vowels!

    Off the top of my head are "eerie" and "aerie" and I'm guessing there are more.

    So, uh.

    No.

    Only 5-letter q word with 4 vowels!

    qaoya

    004SPT_J_K__Simmons_015.jpg

    Kana on
    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I don't understand the phrase "have your cake and eat it too." I mean, I understand the concept of it. I understand its meaning. But I don't understand why it means what it does.

    What is the purpose of cake if not to eat it? The cake would most likely not even exist if someone wasn't planning on eating it.

    My understanding is that it is synonymous with "you can't have it both ways." So what other way is there to have cake other than to eat it? Why would you want to have cake if you didn't want to also eat it? Is there some sort of cake hoarding thing that I don't know about that makes this all make sense?

    BN_Sig3.jpg
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I don't understand the phrase "have your cake and eat it too." I mean, I understand the concept of it. I understand its meaning. But I don't understand why it means what it does.

    What is the purpose of cake if not to eat it? The cake would most likely not even exist if someone wasn't planning on eating it.

    My understanding is that it is synonymous with "you can't have it both ways." So what other way is there to have cake other than to eat it? Why would you want to have cake if you didn't want to also eat it? Is there some sort of cake hoarding thing that I don't know about that makes this all make sense?

    It means that you want to eat the cake but at the same time keep it around. Say you have a cake on a table, you want to keep it there but also eat it at the same time.

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  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Why would anyone want to keep an un-eaten cake lying around?

    BN_Sig3.jpg
  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The issue I think was with Lucas's (and my own) presumption that "have" in that context meant "eat." Language is fun!

    EDIT: Though that assumes your interpretation of the meaning behind that phrase is accurate.

    Hamurabi on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Let's take our literal caps off for a moment.

    It simply means that you want to use up a resource but keep the resource around for the future. It's Schrodinger's cake.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Schrodinger's Cake would be a resource that you may or may not possess, but don't know if you have it until you actually check. For example, you were expecting a reversal on a credit card charge - you know it's supposed to take place, but you won't know if you've gotten it yet until you verify your balance.

    DarkPrimus on
    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Schrodinger's Cake would be a resource that you may or may not possess, but don't know if you have it until you actually check. For example, you were expecting a reversal on a credit card charge - you know it's supposed to take place, but you won't know if you've gotten it yet until you verify your balance.

    True. To borrow your example, the "have you cake and eat it too" there would be keeping a product and still getting your money back.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Schrodinger's Cake would be a resource that you may or may not possess, but don't know if you have it until you actually check. For example, you were expecting a reversal on a credit card charge - you know it's supposed to take place, but you won't know if you've gotten it yet until you verify your balance.

    True. To borrow your example, the "have you cake and eat it too" there would be keeping a product and still getting your money back.

    Quite so!

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • Weenog42Weenog42 Registered User regular
    Sesquipedalian is a sesquipedalian word.
    Terse is a terse word.
    Sibilant is a sibilant word.

    There must be a term for this.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Suffix and prefix both contain a suffix and a prefix.

    BN_Sig3.jpg
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I've always been amused that phonetic is not phonetic.

    DarkPrimus on
    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Today replaying some Empire: Total War I found out that "shrapnel"'s source is from Henry Shrapnel, british inventor and army officer.

    His exploding shells were such a big deal the British army gave him the equivalent of more than 100,000 pounds a year for the rest of his life.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • valgomirvalgomir Registered User regular
    My English teacher at university is a really cool guy.
    We start every lesson by watching a video (the first lesson started with a video of a kid doing about 20 or 30 different accents, for example) and then spend the rest of the lesson discussing it, doing (very few) exercises and learning about various figures of speech.

    I was completely dumbstruck when I learned that "dude" was originally an insult.

    A: FPSs suck, all that ever happens is that I get shot!
    B: Well, you DO have to shoot back...
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    valgomir wrote: »
    My English teacher at university is a really cool guy.
    We start every lesson by watching a video (the first lesson started with a video of a kid doing about 20 or 30 different accents, for example) and then spend the rest of the lesson discussing it, doing (very few) exercises and learning about various figures of speech.

    I was completely dumbstruck when I learned that "dude" was originally an insult.

    You'll love this, then.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    valgomir wrote: »
    My English teacher at university is a really cool guy.
    We start every lesson by watching a video (the first lesson started with a video of a kid doing about 20 or 30 different accents, for example) and then spend the rest of the lesson discussing it, doing (very few) exercises and learning about various figures of speech.

    I was completely dumbstruck when I learned that "dude" was originally an insult.

    What do you learn? Are the videos on literature and improving your English skills and the like? What sort of class is it, a gen ed or a higher level course? I am hesitantly interested in learning about this new approach to English but also quite skeptical.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • valgomirvalgomir Registered User regular
    valgomir wrote: »
    My English teacher at university is a really cool guy.
    We start every lesson by watching a video (the first lesson started with a video of a kid doing about 20 or 30 different accents, for example) and then spend the rest of the lesson discussing it, doing (very few) exercises and learning about various figures of speech.

    I was completely dumbstruck when I learned that "dude" was originally an insult.

    What do you learn? Are the videos on literature and improving your English skills and the like? What sort of class is it, a gen ed or a higher level course? I am hesitantly interested in learning about this new approach to English but also quite skeptical.

    It is a required language course for advanced students that everyone who studies electronic engineering (or, in my case, information system technologies) has to take.
    We are supposed to learn how to communicate technical aspects and things like that to other people, but since this is the first semester, we are practising general listening comprehension for now.

    The videos are sometimes related to engineering, sometimes just random but interesting things our teacher stumbled across.

    A: FPSs suck, all that ever happens is that I get shot!
    B: Well, you DO have to shoot back...
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    valgomir wrote: »
    valgomir wrote: »
    My English teacher at university is a really cool guy.
    We start every lesson by watching a video (the first lesson started with a video of a kid doing about 20 or 30 different accents, for example) and then spend the rest of the lesson discussing it, doing (very few) exercises and learning about various figures of speech.

    I was completely dumbstruck when I learned that "dude" was originally an insult.

    What do you learn? Are the videos on literature and improving your English skills and the like? What sort of class is it, a gen ed or a higher level course? I am hesitantly interested in learning about this new approach to English but also quite skeptical.

    It is a required language course for advanced students that everyone who studies electronic engineering (or, in my case, information system technologies) has to take.
    We are supposed to learn how to communicate technical aspects and things like that to other people, but since this is the first semester, we are practising general listening comprehension for now.

    The videos are sometimes related to engineering, sometimes just random but interesting things our teacher stumbled across.

    Huh. That's an oddly specific course but it sounds very useful.

    I thought you meant like "English 101" for all students where you just sit around watching videos and talking about them.

    In which case I'd want to smack your English department across the collective face.

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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    I've always thought that the language of sailors from the Renaissance up until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was particularly fascinating because if the English language at large is a slow blending of various linguistic influences, the lexicon of the sea is a violent crash-course along the same vein. In an age where few people ever ventured more than 100 miles from home, you could find representatives of ten different nations and languages all sleeping in quarters so tight that their hips bumped as their hammocks swung. And when those sailors finally returned home, they influenced the language at large in very interesting but not readily apparent ways.

    Which brings me to one of my favorite words: poop. When I was growing up, my grandparents would frequently describe themselves as tired by saying, "I'm pooped," which seemed bizarre to me because I was only familiar with the scatological connotation. The Online Etymology Dictionary says that the origins of this use of the word are unclear -- but dudes, I can totally tell you where it comes from!

    During a particularly rough storm, one of the great dangers was to have a tall, following wave break across your transom. The kinetic energy of the wave breaking was sufficient to force the ship to slew 90 degrees either port or starboard fast enough to kill your forward momentum, leaving you helpless to the next tall wave, which would catch you on your beam and roll you over. The easiest solution is to steer into every wave so that its impact is redirected by your bow; however, this isn't always an option for a wind-powered craft, particularly if the wind and the seas are both coming from the same direction. In that case, your only real choice is to travel in the same direction as both wind and sea with enough forward momentum that when each wave reaches you, it continues along under your keel rather than breaking over a relatively stationary stern.

    Traveling at speed during a storm carries risks of its own for a sailing vessel, however. Your sails could tear free from their boltropes or you could lose a spar with a particularly fierce gust of wind, which would leave you without maneuvering power. If either of these things happened, and you couldn't restore sufficient momentum before the next wave reached you, it would crash into your transom and flood your aft decks as it swung you about and then killed you. Sailors refer to this specific series of events as "being pooped," from the French "poupe," meaning the stern or aft quarter of a sailing vessel.

    And so when they returned home, if they felt fatigued to the point of being incapable of coping, they would describe themselves as "pooped."

    I think it's amazing that you can trace a phrase like that from a bunch of terrified foremast jacks (and presumably a few foremast Jacques) through the centuries to my Scottish socialite grandparents.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    I think the best word is "be." Not only is it incredibly useful, it's also incredibly short, a verb, and when you conjugate it it becomes an entirely different word!

    Despite my love of the English language, and figuring out where sayings come from and what words mean, I do find myself to not be a prescriptivist. Language changes, rules change, and I find that trying to establish an authority just leads to dogma for no reason. It's more interesting, to me, to see how a culture, region, or people are using language than to force them to speak correctly. I mean, we could have arguments about how American English is more "pure" than British because British has too much French influence (use of "-re," too many vowels, softer pronunciation), but what's the point? It's more interesting to talk about how they're different now and how that came to be, accepting that we're seeing two approaches to the same language.

    Besides, with a word like "manoeuvring," it's hard for the British to be correct. :D

    Anyway, I'm also anti-prescriptivist because my ex-wife's aunt made a hoity-toity correction to a statement I made once, casually, about leaving the "-ly" off an adverb. It's stuck with me, and when I come across great sayings like "All men are created equal," I think "Where's your -ly now, bitch!"

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • BehemothBehemoth Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Today replaying some Empire: Total War I found out that "shrapnel"'s source is from Henry Shrapnel, british inventor and army officer.

    His exploding shells were such a big deal the British army gave him the equivalent of more than 100,000 pounds a year for the rest of his life.

    It's always funny to discover words that seem so natural and appropriate are actually just some dude's last name.

    Like "sandwich" or "volt" or "crapper".

    iQbUbQsZXyt8I.png
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